Infra-humanitarian aid? : humanizing those who give international aid while infrahumanizing the recipients.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Dehumanization is the term used to describe the process of denying humanity to others. The alleviation of dehumanization involves increasing the humanity we attribute to dehumanized others, and can be thought of as rehumanization. A large body of work on dehumanization has emerged in the last decade, however, little is known about rehumanization. The present work contributes to this literature by examining how knowledge of intergroup helping in the context of a natural disaster increases or decreases rehumanization of outgroups. I had American participants read a news article describing either an ingroup or an outgroup natural disaster and that country receiving various amounts of international aid. Half the participants were provided with information about hurricane Katrina (a national disaster) and varying amounts of aid (none vs. small vs. large) given to American victims by Pakistanis. The other half of the participants read about the 2010 Pakistan floods (a foreign disaster) and varying amounts of aid (none vs. small vs. large) given to Pakistani victims by Americans. Results revealed that Americans who read about hurricane Katrina and no mention of American victims receiving help, infrahumanized both Americans and Pakistanis. However, those participants who went on to read about American victims receiving (small or large) help from Pakistanis, attributed significantly more secondary emotions to Pakistanis, but not Americans (e.g. ingroup infrahumanization persisted). American participants who read about the 2010 Pakistan floods and no mention of Pakistani victims receiving help infrahumanized Pakistanis but not Americans. Those participants who went on to read about Pakistani victims receiving (small or large) help from Americans did not show any change in secondary emotions attributed to either Americans or Pakistani’s (e.g. outgroup infrahumanization and ingroup humanization persisted).The discussion centres on the nuances of rehumanization strategies and intergroup relations.